Dr. John Boothroyd
Stanford University School of Medicine
As with all infectious agents that replicate within other cells, the single-celled eukaryote Toxoplasma faces special challenges. This Apicomplexan protist is remarkable for the range of cell types and host species that it can infect and this “generalist" life-style appears to have resulted in a remarkably diverse set of “effectors” that it uses to interact with the host cell. In this talk, Dr. Boothroyd will describe the ways in which Toxoplasma specifically neutralizes the host’s innate immune defenses, actively rearranges host organelles like mitochondria, and dramatically reprograms host gene expression, including through up-regulating expression of the potent oncogene c-Myc. The molecular interactions that drive these various effects will be described and the talk will conclude with some thoughts about the evolutionary forces that have led to differences in how the most common strains of Toxoplasma drive these phenomena.
Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases
Department of Biological Sciences
107 Galvin Life Science Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0369 USA